OKEHAMPTON has found itself a new team of co-ordinators for its wonderful Christmas lights display after Donald Rooke announced he would step down from the role.

At the beginning of October Mr Rooke, who has co-ordinated the display of Christmas lights for 35 years, announced he would step down from the role.

Okehampton and District Chamber of Trade had been on the hunt for Mr Rooke’s replacement before the lights went up on Sunday, November 22.

The chamber has now found those who will step up to fill his shoes — a team of chamber members will help to co-ordinate the lights each year, including Mike Harding and Steve Bolt, who is also the chairman of the Okehampton Carnival committee.

Donna Tombs, the chair of the chamber of trade, said: ‘It has now all been sorted. The fundraising for the lights each year will still be down to the chamber but the team is to take on the job of organising the lights each year much like Donald before them.

‘This year’s display of lights is looking lovely just as it always does. A big thank you to Donald for all his hard work over the years.’

The chamber of trade is responsible for the town’s Christmas light display each year, putting up the lights, changing faulty bulbs as they arise and raising thousands of pounds in funding each year to ensure a great display. Among the grants to help pay for this year’s lights was a £1,200 grant from Okehampton Town Council.

Town clerk Paul Snell said: ‘It was a one-off, and any further request next year would be considered on its merits.

‘The town council is very appreciative of the efforts that are made by the chamber of trade in this connection — it really helps Okehampton stand out in the quality of decoration it produces.’